Skip to comments.Return of the '70s
Posted on 03/18/2014 3:08:17 PM PDT by Kaslin
"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." -- Ecclesiastes 1:9
This is true even in politics. Maybe especially in politics, where the recycling of bad and good decisions reflects the recycling, according to democratic practice, of bad and good leaders.
As the Russians push their imperial agenda in the Ukraine, and Western leaders wring their hands, the '70s come painfully to mind.
I bring up the '70s -- of god-awful memory -- as much to nourish hope as to enlarge perspective on current events in the world and the nation along with it.
As the hearing-aid set -- of which your servant is a certificate-holding member -- will recall, the '70s began with the U.S. in decline, at home and abroad. Inflation and fast-rising energy costs looked uncontrollable. The Nixon administration's response was wage-price controls -- an expedient never successful anywhere. A long, bloody, divisive and essentially futile war in Southeast Asia was winding down. It remained only to negotiate our exit costs.
In this environment of American weakness and confusion, enemies pounced. The Iranians seized our embassy in Tehran. The Russians invaded Afghanistan.
The cycle of decline and fall was arrested, and then reversed, in the '80s. Having seen what didn't work in foreign policy -- American guilt, American disengagement -- America, during the Reagan presidency, re-engaged. And, having done so, won the Cold War. In economic terms, the government stepped back, cut tax rates, eased various regulations and returned to the free marketplace some of its old-time flexibility. Things began working again.
They worked, that is, until "the thing that hath been" cruised back by the crime scene to test the shortness of our memories. Sure enough, around the year 2008, circumstances found the U.S. largely immobilized by the experience of war and the mistakes that seem to go with freedom and prosperity.
Under the guiding hand of Barack Obama, the old policies came back -- guilt, disengagement from responsibilities, pessimism as to American ideals and capabilities, resentment of economic success; a variety of mannerisms and anxieties that predict bad decision-making at the top.
Barack Obama, whose approval ratings fell last week to their lowest ever, is, seemingly, the new Jimmy Carter -- a man with few ideas other than to embody the reverse of what he sees as having caused our problems. Obama, like Carter, prior to the Afghan invasions, thought he could do something about American bossiness by disengaging from confrontation with other nations. We're not supposed to throw our weight around anymore. We're to act in concert with "the international community," whatever that is. We make noises, draw "red lines," issue warnings.
As in the Carter days, the government thinks it knows more than the citizens when it comes to economics. A government takeover of health care, tighter regulation of coal-fired plants, more government spending (except for defense), neglect of problems with Medicare and Social Security -- in this manner we create prosperity. Except when we create less prosperity and more prolonged misery.
The '70s of the last century look more and more like a dress rehearsal for the '10s of the 21st century: the same love of ideology over experience, the same wrong answers. Barack Obama has an evident gift for seeming indecisive in the face of challenge, which makes him look like the same patsy the Russians and the Iranians took Jimmy Carter to be.
The same love of government control that Jimmy Carter displayed keeps the American economy on its backside when the need of the day is to coax the animal spirits of the marketplace back into action.
It's saddening and discouraging to watch the '70s gaily gallivanting among us. There's more to say on that count, nonetheless. We cannot recall the badness of the '70s without recalling the good that flowed from the discovery in the '80s that things had to change. That's the first step: disillusion, and then the itch for hope and change. Didn't someone once tell us about that itch?
Damn, this thread just started and already there’s a comment that’s been removed before I got to see it. How about moving all the removed comments to a separate thread so those of us that aren’t easily offended can read them?
Theres only one problem with it being the 70’s again: the 70’s sucked. Big time.
Except Obama makes Carter look competent.
One more difference, is that the music in the 70s was pretty good. I wouldn't call the garbage that comes out today good or music.
Clothing styles were awful. Hard rock can not hold a candle to George Strait. Thank God for "Dallas," disco and Princess Di. And of course, Ronald Reagan. Liberals hated them all.
Demographics is Destiny.
The LSI technology that gave rise to the personal computer was being developed during the 70's.
So was the CAT scanner, the cell phone, the CD player, and the internet.
Recombinant DNA technology was being invented in the '70s.
“Welcome” just seems like the wrong word.
It’s hard to imagine how the perpetually offended will manage once SHTF.
It was truly the last decade that captured idyllic Americana, before it became destroyed by modern leftism.
Thus, my sigline...
I like the over-the-topness of ‘70s style. It was like a decade long costume party. And really, for all the corpone of the early ‘70s, the later part of the decade was pretty good looking as it sort settled down and came in for a landing in the ‘80s.
corpone = cornpone
Glam rock was so gay. Ugh.
That said, I really liked Ziggy Stardust & Diamond Dogs. Go figure. Even without the pot, they are still very polished rock. IMO, Bowie’s best.
Its much, much worse. In the 70s, our national debt was only $600 billion in total (not per year; in TOTAL) during the Carter years.
It’s was the height of Prog Rock (sorry Revolting!). Yes, Genesis, Floyd, classic stuff.
There were a lot of good things that came out of the 70’s: Classic rock, emerging technologies Movie making, etc. But it’s my opinion that the cultural rot that pervades and threatens our society first got their foothold in the 70’s. That’s why I dislike the decade. The”me” decade wasn’t it called? “me” went beyond mere self interest and into perverse selfishness and indulgence. that’s the part of the 70’s I decry. Along with disco and the AMC Pacer.
I well understand where you're coming from, but one can make just as good a case that the "cultural rot" began with Ken Kesey and Alan Ginsberg, or with Fatty Arbuckle and proto-Hollywood.
Or with the intersecting axes of Jack Parsons and Alister Crowley and the "society" they set up in Southern California in the 1940s.
Or with the heroin-fueled "beat" jazz scene.
Or with television and mass media in general, which made it possible to separate image from reality on an industrial scale.
It was also the first decade I can recall in any detail and I seem to remember the gaudy, comic opera nature of it. Everything was so over the top, all the time. It was like living in a Marx brother movie. So, perhaps it’s a function of my particular perspective. It was a hell of a decade to grow up in, that’s for sure. I retract my earlier comment about the AMC Pacer. But my judgement stands on disco.
Not a fan of the New York Dolls, Sparks, or Roxy Music?
Actually no. My roots are in blues and blues rock, but I did enjoy some of the 70’s glam musically, but not a lot.
Before he became a “star” Springsteen made some pretty good music. Born to Run was his last good LP as far as my taste goes. I saw the him and the E street band at the Jai Alai Fronton (Fern Park / Orlando) FL in 76 (or early 77). Powerhouse show. Nothing of his stuff after that appealed to me.
Early 70s we still had Humble Pie, Savoy Brown, Deep Purple. All great live bands. Surprisingly, Uriah Heep did a good live show. The Moody Blues were very impressive. Long John Baldry. Saw all of them. By the mid 70s pop music had evolved (devolved?) in a direction that was for the most part not very appealing to me.
Well, the eighties were the best decade I ever lived in. I will look forward to them again.
To anyone who lived through them, the comparisons of present-day conditions to the 70’s are painfully obvious.
The differences I would point out are, Carter was a goofball incompetent, but I don’t think he was an avowed traitor to the US. 0bama is different; this is truly a vandal, a saboteur in our midst, not only determined to bring the US down to a common level, but to implant permanent structures to ensure the US continues on a glide-slope of decline, at whatever rate. To fix this is going to require not just the kind of course-change that Reagan started and got going, but a wholesale deracination of what 0bama has imposed. Stuff is going to have to be not just reversed, but torn out by the roots.
As one who lived through the 80’s I hope I have enough life energy and lifespan left to see and enjoy what occurred after Carter was deposed from office. The 80’s were great.
My wife and I will be in Nashville Friday to see King George. It sadly will be the last.